Pilgrimage to the Holy City and a bit of bike riding in the park
July 11 th
Parks and Popes
Stan took us to the Museum of modern art - modern meaning less than 200 years old. Some interesting pieces including one that had ants painted all over pianos and paintings. Very disconcerting.
We then headed to the gardens around the Borghese Villa and hired a "quad bike". It was so much fun tearing around the gardens, luckily it had a bit of electric motor back up to help us up the hills. Beautiful expansive gardens, providing some relief from the heat of the city. Wish we could take a dip in those fountains.
Then I dragged the girls off for a tour of the Vatican museums. One of those things you just have to see once in your life if you o to Rome. More Americans, a couple of Aussies and an Indian mother and son posing as New Zealanders but had broad Aussie accents. The guide did her thesis on Italian art in the 1400-1500s so this was the place for her - so much information, so little time. My brain was going to burst and i think the girls just pulled out the earphones intermittently. What I learnt in brief:
- the popes did a lot of plundering and stealing
- they mostly had big egos and wanted to show off their wealth
- the good popes brought prosperity and growth to the city/people
- Michelangelo was a sculptor not painter, which makes the Sistine Chapel more impressive
- Raphael was a bit of a spunk, he worked with many students, lucky them, but died at 32
- the museums at the Vatican are endless.....
- despite being overdosed on churches both girls suitably impressed with St Peters Basilica - the mother of all Catholic Churches
- we missed out on seeing the Pope, he apologised but just could fit in with our schedule.
More pizza, pasta, proseco and packing. Went to a lovely little restaurant in Via del Croce - called something Amici ( friends) where we were given complimentary wine and aperitif for waiting.